Contribution of green and open space in public health and well-being

Rich Mitchell is a co-investigator on a major ongoing project looking at green space and health in Scotland. The project is funded by the Scottish Executive, and takes an interdisciplinary look at the relationships between green space and health, combining epidemiological analyses of secondary data, primary studies and a focus on relevant policies.

The research aims to test the importance of factors associated with public and individual perceptions, and actual measures, of the environment, and measures of its character, directly related to people’s health and well-being.  These tests will inform assessments of the effects of land and environmental management policies on the provision of environments that are conducive to good public health and well-being and the role that quality can play in the benefits of green spaces.

Research outputs will include:

  1. guidelines on measures to target the provision of green and open spaces (as described in PAN653) to support public health and well-being in rural and urban areas
  2. an indicator of health and well-being with respect to environmental characteristics
  3. geographic databases and analysis tools.

These outputs will be supported by mechanisms for Knowledge Exchange (KE) between stakeholders and the public, by raising community awareness of links between management for green/open space and public health and well-being, and capabilities for public participation in community planning.

The study is lead by the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, and also includes OpenSpace at Edinburgh College of Art

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